Wednesday, June 07, 2023

 Georges Beuville ( 1902-1982)

Ok, this one is an odd one.

I remember seeing his work as a kid in books we had to read in class.

I didn’t care for it. I didn’t dislike it, it was just one of those things that I associated with class so it was boring.

It was later, in high school, when I was doing research in the library of the little town I lived in ( Vesoul!) that I fell on a book he had illustrated. It was a classic French book called the war of buttons ( La guerre des boutons) and I remember recognizing his little star shaped signature and trying to figure out if I liked it his work or not.

I couldn’t stop wanting to come back to it. I wasn’t sure why because it wasn’t well drawn. In fact, it felt like there was no drawing at all ( in my mind). Just colors that somehow made me understand a scene.

Later still, in college, I came across his work again and it THEN it hit me what he was doing.

The looseness of his work meant a lack of talent, or skill when I was younger, probably because I was used to French graphic novels or American comics which all had clear dark outlines.
Beuville’s work was different. It was so loose it felt more like a sketch than an illustration but it was clear, readable. It was expressive in a way that I didn’t know could be done and printed.

After that, I kept looking for his work whenever I could.

I found a lot since then, but nothing that impacted me as much as his La Guerre des Boutons”

Not to say his other work isn’t as good but that was the work of his that really impacted me the most. The kind of work that feels like a secret when you discover it if that makes sense.

“OH, You can do illustrations like THIS and it still works!”

Beuville’s done a lot of line drawing images that go inside the books, chapter headers, things like that. I love those as well.

In any case, another one of my favorites even if it took awhile for me to see it. ( which seems to be a recurring theme in my life!)

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